|Barked: Sun May 19, '13 10:23pm PST |
|Let's go through my list of ones we've tried over the last 4 years. . .
Avoderm grain free--My chis loved Avoderm and it is very affordable. Some owners may shy away from avocadoes in the food, but despite what some would like to tell you, avacadoes are not poisonous to dogs as long as they eat the flesh only, not the skin or the stone.
California Naturals kangaroo--lower protein than most grain free at 22%. Very good exotic protein source. Kangaroo meat is better for the environment. I wasn't aware till I fed this that kangaroos don't release methane the way cows do.
Castor and pollux natural ultramix indulgent recipe--higher protein and has chunks of dried fruits and veggies along with the kibble. easy to find in large box pet stores and at Whole Foods
Castor and polux organix--didn't care for this because it has soy AND has anonymous meat sources (poultry meal, poultry fat rather than from a named bird)
Evo ---stinky food both from the bag and on the other end too. poos so smelly we had to wait a moment to pick them up. P&G owned.
Fromm 4-star--some of the best kibble to come out from a well respected company. has tiny kibbles which is good for tiny dogs
Natural balance--Ok, so the kibble is ok, but I don't trust a company that puts pure sugar into any of their food lines the way they do with their chubs.
nature's variety instinct raw--preferred over the kibble by far
nature's variety instinct kibble--excellent kibble but not always as palatable as other varieties have been. It has a single source rabbit kibble that is very nice.
Nature's recipe--owned by Del Monte, and adds menadione to their food. Would not recommend, one of the few grain frees that we are absolutely never touching again.
northwest naturals frozen--awesome, awesome, awesome frozen raw had small sized chunks that make portioning easy and as far as frozen goes, its very affordable but it is very high fat
Nutrisca--one of the first grain free foods that we tried. It is certified low glycemic index, a distinction that it shares with Merrick and only about one other food out there. This is a vital consideration in a dog with metabolic issues or recovering from pregnancy
Orijen--had a terrible time with stinky poops from this
Acana--there isn't a whole lot of difference between acana and orijen. Both very good, but also very strong smelling.
Petcurean Now! Grain free--good food sourced from Canada, but not distinguished from most. their small breed grain inclusive was more interesting but only because of the kibble shape.
Premium edge healthy weight reduction I--The first half of a 2 step weight reduction system is high protein and low fat, and no grains. The problem is it is 42% protein but adds soy. It's also made by diamond, which makes TOTW, so it fell into the recalls. Also only comes in chicken.
Sojos complete (freeze dried raw)--lower protein than most grain free at 22%, but about the easiest way to do "raw" food. a 2# bag lasts 2 chihuahuas for a month
Solid Gold Barking at the moon-- might as well be TOTW, doesn't distinguish itself from any other grain free that diamond puts out. Like TOTW they like to use anonymous fish sources. "Ocean fish" is not specific and there are lots of ocean fish that are similar to edible ones but are very bad! Like diarrhea and hallucinations bad.
Taste of the wild--has anonymous meat sources in some varieties but has neat meat sources and is very affordable. Too many recalls for me
That's it so far. All factors in, cost, nutrition, prep, pallatability, I would say Sojos has been our favorite followed by Fromm by a very wide margin to other brands. If you would have asked me 2 years ago I would have said TOTW, but while TOTW fits a LOT of budgets, their recent battles with mold and salmonella at their plants has made me a beet leery. On top of that, unnamed fish sources. blech. I was put off of Diamond products with the recalls, which would be TOTW, premium Edge, chicken soup, solid gold, Nature's recipe etc. Diamond makes a ton of grain free brands. nature's variety instinct raw and NW naturals are excellent but VERY expensive by comparison to fromm and sojos.
Sojos gets my top pick because while it is only 22% protein, it is minimally processed compared to kibble, and far more accessible. It might look expensive with a 2# bag being $20, but you are not paying for water. It hydrates to about 10# of prepared food. that little 2# bag lasts as long as the 5# bags of kibble. It also does not have a large profile of chemical additives, relying on the natural vitamins and minerals in the food mix. It's not AAFCO certified, but it is actually complete despite that. I asked about it, and they said that AAFCO certification requires food trials that can be uncomfortable for the dog and that AAFCO only determines that a dog can survive the food, not that it is good for the dog. All I know is that my 2 have super shiny coats and a good ratio of fat to muscle while they were on it, and on kibble they went all the way up a whole pound for foxx and 2# for Tag and the only reason why we figured it out before they got fatter is Tag got a UTI while on Castor and Pollux organix (grain inclusive) because were trying our vet's theory that grain free food was a gimmick. It's not. Our forays into grain inclusive food have been less than stellar. We're talking more nighttime nausea and vomiting, more poo eating, more stinky breath, corn chip smelling feet, less pallateability, and the UTI and Tag's recent cherry eye only came up after 3 months on grain inclusive. We're right back on grain free after that mess and we're already having nicer urine and less swelling in that eye.
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